A short weekend trip to include the first May holiday saw me visit the the German spa town of Baden-Baden for the first time. On the Friday of my departure, I had the afternoon off to go leisurely to Heathrow but, inevitably, the traffic thwarted such plans. For a ten-minute journey to the station from home, we allowed forty minutes and comfortably missed the desired train...
Well, I did make it as the train was late also. The bus was delayed to Heathrow for good measure so it was far from the relaxing journey to Terminal 5 and, yes, the flight was also delayed. Anyway, once on our way, the short hop to Frankfurt was pleasant and everything went smoothly there. I could see the Park Inn where I was staying from just outside the airport and could have walked there but the bus turned up. It is a nice hotel, my German was good although I found a huffing and puffing resident close to me off-putting but, anyway, we were both sorted out: myself, satisfactorily the other chap perhaps not.
I booked too late for the ideal shuttle bus back to the airport the next morning but, as it happened, walking was every bit as easy. The German trains had the same trouble as the British ones the previous days with my first journey to Mannheim slightly late and getting further delayed after it was marooned half way through. Thinking that I had missed the connection despite the transfer time being almost twenty-five minutes, I went to find the next train only to find that the Baden-Baden train was also badly delayed, I made it comfortably.

Baden-Baden is much bigger than I had expected and I stayed in the excellent Radisson Blu Badischer Hof in the centre. Okay, its exterior was under renovation but it was nice. I had a decent room and use of their spa included so made use of the heated part of the pool and sauna. It was quite a popular place too.

I also visited the townís Caracalla Spa which was, as is usually the case, excellent. Set, as its name may suggest, in Roman style, it had excellent facilities and I felt much better for it afterwards. Also for being able to catch up on some reading.

I was surprised that Baden-Badenís new railway station is about fifteen minutes bus ride from the centre. There is an older station but, anyway, buses regularly go between the new station and the centre. The Badischer Hof was very close to the historical centre including the Trinkhalle, casino and theatre. I wasnít tempted to see whether the casino still traded...

Baden-Badenís casino

The Trinkhalle at Baden-Baden

The Radisson Blu Badischer Hof in Baden-Baden

One of Baden-Badenís beautiful parks

Baden-Badenís theatre

Corinthian pillars at the Trinkhalle

Well, I can now tell the type of pillars/columns attached to older buildings after a lesson in Italy from my mum who was suitably impressed with my accompanying note of photos sent to her during my stay. Predominantly Corinthian although I am sure that I saw an Ionic one on occasion but Doric didnít feature although some forlorn-looking ones close to the spa might, if my memory serves me correctly, have applied.

The weather was odd and changeable. At times wonderful, at other times torrential rain, I was possibly lucky that, on Sunday, it wasnít raining although it was dull in the morning. Nonetheless, I had a lovely walk in a long, local park and envied the local dogs going for their daily stroll. Inevitably, the weather was better in the afternoon when I was taking it more gently in the spa and watching the motor racing and, more sadly still, the day I returned to England was probably the best day.

Everything went very smoothly on the return to Frankfurt except for a desperately busy S-Bahn train from Baden-Baden to Karlsruhe. Many people couldnít get on but I had to as I had a non-changeable ticket and, whilst no ticket inspector was remotely going to be able to check on anyone, it would have messed up the connection to Frankfurt Airport. So, yes, it was a cosy half-hour journey and, needless to say, the onward train hardly had a soul on it in comparison. It went well and the British Airways flight back arrived early thus ending a short but enjoyable trip.